Wow. How can we protect little children like Nubia Barahona from being murdered by their parents? The staff at her school KNEW something was up. They kept on telling the social services people that things weren't right. Concerns were raised "by teachers and principals, by a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) and her attorney, by a nurse, by a psychologist."
Her parents decided to homeschool this school year, "taking away most of (the children's) visibility to outside eyes and increasing the danger that abuse and neglect would go unrecognized. This was further compounded by the lack of formal requirements relating to the monitoring of students being home schooled." (emphasis mine)
Okayyyy. Was it really "compounded by the lack of formal requirements," or did these folks just plain old not listen in the bloody first place when everyone was hopping up and down and yelling about problems in this family?? Would they have suddenly listened if this child stayed another month or two in school? Or six? Would they?? Or is "the lack of formal requirements" a good scapegoat for their own shocking level of ineptitude?
This PDF from the beeauuutiful, sunny state of Florida goes on and on about those wonderful, diligent people who worked at the schools. La- la- la- singing praise and throwing rose petals about. And yes, it sounds as if the school actually CARED. Too bad that *whoopsie* several screams for help went unheeded and this child died a horrible death. If I were one of those people who worked at that school, I would SO not want praise from these folks for my great job reporting. What kind of attaboy is that after a child is dead? Who cares if they did a great job or not if NO ONE LISTENS TO THEM?? Hope those school folks are able to sleep at night, because it sounds like they did what they could and God bless them.
Homeschooling can be torture if it's done just right. But just imagine being hauled in each month and having your child checked over because he HAPPENED to be school-aged and not sent to school. Nevermind that it really is a very small minority that kills; can we just chalk it up to "lack of regulation" when it happens and clamp down on people? I mean, I know you feel safer getting all naked for the TSA guy. ("Backscatter" sounds like a lap dance to me.) I think we did a great job by changing things so that you can't just leave your explosive luggage with the porter any more. You at least have to die on the plane now. And popping in metal detectors, not letting non-passengers through the gate, and a bit of common sense... these things are all improvements. Ever heard of the law of diminishing returns? Should everyone who wants to fly on an airplane check in once a month so the TSA guy can do the blue glove check for terrorism?
If the "state," in the process of approving Nubia's parents for adoption and closely overseeing her transition into the home, can miss that these parents were about to MURDER their child, do you think that abusive or menacing parents might escape notice? You think? And how much would all that cost? Money could be better spent better on responding to genuine allegations and on parent training if it's needed, that's what it would cost.
What really ANGERS me when I read all this isn't so much the idea of homeschoolers being looked after. (Or into, depending on your perspective.) I'm scared that homeschoolers and adoptive parents are going to be scapegoats and that the state of Florida - yet again! - will simply fail to listen to the mandated reporters and look into anything. Why can't they listen to people when they say something? And grant you, a person or two may have an axe to grind. But when you get a bunch of unconnected people all saying the same sorts of things about a given family, you know something is likely up.
Another thing that really gets me about the PDF report is that the state has the gall to go on and on about how they are not calling the Barahonas Nubia's parents because they don't deserve the honour after what happened to her. OK... SO WHO GAVE HER TO THE BARAHONAS? It was *ta da* the state. Of course.
I've really thought about this. I've really wondered if my own biases formed my opinion on this. I know there ARE some really crappy parents out there. But I find myself saddened at this disrespect of adoptive families as well as homeschoolers. I also need to add that soon, I will have FIVE public school children and only ONE homeschooler. Which means I'm mostly a public school parent. Can I still be a public school parent and say that I know a power grab when I see one?
Nubia was such a beautiful girl. I hope that something changes because of her death. I'm not too hopeful on that score.